Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez left Saturday’s game in Baltimore with a right biceps strain, and has been placed on the 10-day DL as well as their young first baseman Greg Bird whom is day-to-day with right ankle injury.
In the case of Bird, the left-handed hitting slugger hasn’t felt right since fouling a pitch off his right ankle in a March 30th in a Grapefruit League game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
He’d had missed Saturday’s game against Baltimore and will also miss Sunday’s series finale.
If, and it’s a big if, his ankle is better and he can walk which he wasn’t able to do according to manager Joe Girardi then he could possibly return for Monday’s home opener at Yankee Stadium.
With Sanchez it’s a bit trickier.
While at first glance a bicep strain doesn’t sound as egregious as torn UCL or sprained ankle its worth noting that Angels righty Garrett Richards landed 10-day disabled list Friday with a right biceps strain.
It’s very possible Sanchez’s injury will be more severe, of course, which would be a terrible development for the Yankees.
The 24-year-old backstop deservedly entered the season with significant hype surrounding him after hitting an astounding .299/.376/.657 with 20 home runs in 229 plate appearances as a rookie in 2016. What makes this injury unique is that Sanchez’s arm is just as special as his bat.
Sanchez had cut down whopping 41 percent of would-be base stealers in 2016. Given that the injury is to his impressive throwing arm, the Yankees will be extra careful with his recovery
With Sanchez out of action, the Yankees will try to escape their early season swoon using the uninspiring combination of Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka behind the plate.
Romine has batted an ugly .222/.256/.329 in 359 major league PAs, while the 26-year-old Higashioka hasn’t yet debuted in the bigs
However, it’s worth noting the Yankees chose to keep Higashioka rather than the younger Luis Torrens (20 yrs old) whom they lost in the Rule 5 Draft during the Winter Meetings.
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